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to sell us any stock, though plenty of fowls and pigs were seen. The islands off the Lesser Ki were not well seen on account of the weather, which was very thick and rainy.
Tenimber Islands.—Britomart's anchorage, latitude 6° 58' 03" south, and longitude 131° 58' 26" east. Vordate is not very high but well cultivated, the anchorage off the south end is not very good, owing to the very unevenness of the bottom. The Britomart's anchor was let go in twenty fathoms, and on sounding round the brig, not more than five fathoms were found, excepting in a narrow passage between two reefs by which she had come in; it was late in the evening when she went in, and so dark that the reefs could not be seen. The water is very clear, and by daylight the reefs can be very distinctly seen. Bearings from the anchorage north end of Larat, north 141° east, south point of Vordate, north 133° east, town, north 93° east, Rocky Island, north 19° east, off shore half a mile. The natives here are not to be trusted at all, but they appear to be well off; their arms, head dresses and ivory ornaments, all indicated considerable intercourse with Europeans.
The following is an extract from the remarks of Mr. R. W. Millar, master of H.M.S. Pearl, shewing an extraordinary current prevailing in the Atlantic, under the equator which our seamen should be acquainted with.
May 31st, 1840.—While looking out for the sun's meridian altitude, I was much surprised to hear the masthead man report, rocks on the starboard bow; shortly afterwards, they were seen from the poop, bearing S.W.b.W. I W.:—ship's course S.W.b.W. I expected to find a westerly set about a knot and a half per hour, and calculated that we were at least seventy miles to the eastward of St. Pauls Rocks, which those in sight proved to be. At noon, the centre of the rocks bore W. £ N. 5' or 6', latitude acct. 1° 0' 0" north, latitude observed 0° 55' 0'' longitude acct. 27° 18' 0" west, longitude by the mean of five chronometers 29° 14' 15" west; this, (assuming the rocks to be in 29° 22' 0" west, Capt, Fitzroy,) makes the chronometer between two or three miles to the eastward. In the afternoon, another set of sights was obtained about 5' from the rocks: the results the same as at noon.
2 P.m.—Bore up when within two miles of the rocks,—lowered two boats to try rate of current: ship in the mean time working to windward to preserve her position, but although there was a fine breeze, she evidently lost ground. One boat only succeeded in stemming the current and getting close up to the rocks. The rate of current was found to be four knots per hour, W.N.W. Thus it appears, that since yesterday the ship has been set north 88° west, 116 miles. I examined the fourteen-second glass and log line, the latter I found rather long, but it could not produce a greater error than half a knot per hour, at the most; this would leave 104 miles westerly set. Or, if in addition, it be suspected that the log was badly hove, or thai the ship ran one knot per hour faster, then her rate, as shewn by the log board, taking 24 from 104 would still leave eighty miles westerly set to be accounted for. A barque, boarded yesterday, (Miranda of London,) mentioned having experienced an unusually strong set to the westward, but unfortunately, the master was not asked how much it was. On crossing the equator, between 25° and 27° west, I have on three occasions, found the current stronger in May, June, and July, than in any other part of the year. Once it set the ship to the westward 70' in twenty-four hours.
I had sights for the chronometers at Porto Prayo, nine days previous to making St. Pauls Rocks, and the greatest difference between any two of them, (five in number,) was but three miles and a half. I worked over, and carefully examined the sights for several days preceding the 31st of May, but I could not detect any error. Although the result of five chronometers, (taken separately,) were so near each other, I must have doubted the possibility of the " Pearl's" being set so many miles to the westward. But the sight of St. Pauls Rocks proved our position, and the correctness of the chronometers; and when it was found with what difficulty the boats pulled against the current, and that the ship could not work to windward against it, there could be no longer any doubt as to our having been set to the westward, at the rate of four knots per hour,—supposing the remainder to be set off, as errors in log line, heaving the log, &c.
They are such mere rocks, that I much doubt if they would be seen further than 8', unless a strict look-out was kept for them. They are covered with birds, and surrounded by garupas and sharks,—the latter are exceedingly voracious.
June 2nd, noon.—Fernando Noronha bore south 59° west, distant fifty-eight miles. At 2 observed the Pyramid from the mast head. 4. The Pyramid W. £ N. five leagues; chronometers between three and four miles too far to the eastward. From here to Rio de Janeiro we found little or no current. But if it be proved that the current in the latitude of St. Pauls Rocks, sometimes runs with unusual velocity, (as in the case of the Pearl,) it will be necessary to keep a vigilant lookout, particularly at night, as they are so near the water's edge they would hardly be seen, till too late to clear them.
[It is to such unusual currents as this that we owe the origin of the Bonetta rock, among the Cape Verde Islands, supposed to exist in no less than six different places, all of which disappeared on the investigation of Capt. Vidal, as we demonstrated in our volume for 1839, shewing that the Bonetta rock was no other than the outlying rocks of Bonavista. The St. Paul rocks are well calculated with this current setting on them, to bring up some of our mercantile shipping at night, unless a better loot out be kept than appears to have been, by the numerous collisions which have lately taken place.—Ed.]
Voyage Of The Ship Florentia.—W. Goodtcyn, Commander.
Thursday, \2th March—Having all the crew on board, and received sailing orders, we weighed our anchor and proceeded to sea. At midday, being abreast of Sydney Head, the pilot left us, a smart breeze blowing from N.E., the Hope, whaler, in company, standing to eastWard. 4 P.m. breeze increasing, reduced sail. At dusk the Hope about eight miles astern; lost sight of her during the night.
Sunday, 15th—At 9 A.m., saw Lord Howes Island and Balls Pyramid about N.E. On the 16th, at 5 P.m., sighted Howes Island. 17th, Winds still variable and easterly. Noon; lat. 30° 45' S., long. 159° 49' E. Lord Howes Island in sight S.W. 60 miles. From the 17th to the 23rd we experienced very fine weather, with light variable easterly winds, which prevented us sighting Norfolk Island. Passed about 100 miles to westward—24th, while taking the noon observation my attention wasattracted by a singular white cloud. On looking more attentively I saw the Island of St. Matthew, just above the horizon. Mr. Levitt reported two islands close together: trimmed all sail and hauled up to pass to windward of them. As we approached the island, what I had taken for a white cloud proved to be smoke issuing from the centre of it. On nearer approach, it appeared to proceed from a very large fire, and there was a smaller body of smoke as if from a smaller fire, half way down from the summit. We stood in within four miles of the east end of the island, imagining some parties might either have been left there, or perhaps wrecked; seeing no other signal I thought it might proceed from natives of islands contiguous; but on opening the northern point there was, at times, a body of fire running from the summit to the base, in a cleft or chasm, to the waters' edge; I therefore concluded the island to be of volcanic origin, and its subterranean fires still in a state of combustion. We watched it till a very late hour, and occasionally saw distinctly the fire descend from the summit, and about half way down separate into two bodies to the base. I have not the slightest hesitation in saying it was in volcanic action. Horsburgh lays down the island in lat. 22°24'S., long. 172° 15' E., and in a note says, "This is called Hunters Island by Captain Fearn, who places it in long. 171° 50' E., and he discovered a high rock to the westward in lat. 22° 21' 8., distant fourteen leagues from the former." This he considers to be Matthews Rock, which has near it, to the northward, a flat rock that may be seen five leagues. I made the island to be in lat. 22° 22' S., long. 171° 35' E., by an excellent chronometer, (No. 729, Barraud). Mention is made by Captain Fearn, and in the charts is also laid down a rock to the northward, which may be seen five leagues. No such rock is in existence. At sunset we saw from the tops the Hunters Island of Captain Fearn, bearing E.b.N. i N. Centre of St. Matthews at the same time W. £ S. At a distance, say twenty miles the island certainly appears as two, one a peaked rock, and the other part flat. Seen at a distance, this may have caused St. Matthews to be represented with a flat rock near it to the northward. If this is not the case, the flat rock has disappeared either by volcanic or other means. There appeared a reef round the south and east ends of the island, at about half a mile from the shore, the sea breaking very heavily on it.
The 25th, 26th, and 27th. Experienced a strong S.E. trade wind, and during the three days ran under single reefed topsails 550 miles, steering for Mitre Island. On the 27th we were in lat. by Mer. Obs. 13° 59' S., long, by Chro. 170° 41' E., and on the 29th, at noon, lat. 12° 24' S., long. 170' 56' E., Chro. We had a current from about N.b.W., setting us eighteen miles to the southward.
Mitre Island appears like two separate haycocks when seen from the eastward, both of the same apparent height; but the one to the south
ENLARGED SERIES.—NO. 7 VOL. FOR 1841 3 M
ward is more rugged than the other. It is laid down on the charts thirty-six miles east of its position, according to my observation, and also to Norie. Norie's chart makes Cherry Island twenty miles of longitude east of Mitre Island, whereas by Horsburgh it is twenty miles west, which latter is correct. In the charts, Cherry Island is laid down west of Mitre Island, and yesterday evening we saw Cherry Island from aloft, bearing about north-west of Mitre Island. On the 2nd April passed a piece of cocoa-nut, drifted probably from some island eastward of us, as we have been set to the westward about twelve miles per diem some days past.—4th and 5th. Very warm weather. Moderate east winds. Sea smooth. Ship under every stitch of canvas that can be set. Yachtsailing. At noon this day our lat. is 4° 26' S., long. 165° 13'E. We are 2650 miles from Sydney.—6th. Much lightning last night; squalls and rain. Thermometer at noon 85' in shade, 98' in sun. Current to-day and yesterday from the east, nearly one knot per hour.—7th and 8lh, the last day tremendous squalls, with very heavy rain and lightning. Lat. 8th, observation, 1° 16' S., long. 162° 22' E. Shanks Island sixty-four miles N.37 E. At 1 P.m. light east breeze; made all sail; still a current.—9th, calm; thermometer 86° in shade, 112° in the sun; at noon, lat. 1° 7' S., long. 162° 22', having made nine miles these last twenty-four hours. No current this day.— 10th. At noon, observed lat. 0° 9' S., long. 162° 15' E. Shanks Island E. by S.£ S. forty miles. I endeavoured to sight the island, it being a prominent one in the charts, but the winds, calms, and currents prevented me: to this day we have ran 2,966 miles from Sydney.—11th. Noon, lat. observed 2° 0' N., long 161° 28' E., Ravens Island N.W., 320 miles.— 12th and 13th. During the day fine steady breezes from N.E. to E.N.E., hut very squally at night. This morning, at one o'clock, had a very severe squall with shifts of wind, very heavy rain, vivid lightning, and sharp loud thunder; it did not clear up till nearly four o'clock: the ship under bare topsails only. The wind first at N.E., then east, then flew round to south, and gradually back to N.E.—14th. Passed several cocoa-nuts, and a piece of drift wood. At noon, anxiously looking out for the islands, as we are nearly on the spot in which they are laid down. Latitude observed 5° 38' 30" N., longitude 157° 39' 45'' E. At ten minutes past noon saw them from the foreyard right ahead bearing north-west, distant ten or twelve miles; at six they bore from N.W. b.W. to E.N.E.: at eight saw a light on the Western Island ; no doubt they are inhabited. They are very low islands, and all covered with trees, which we took for cocoa-nut trees. Sailed past them at about three miles distance. They are marked in the chart as being seen in 1794, and their real position is about ten miles north-west of that marked in the charts.
\5th.—Set in towards night with very dark gloomy weather, squalls and torrents of rain, sail reduced to topsails and foresail; continued till noon the 16th when it cleared up, and we saw the sun. Observed lat. 8° 22' N., long. 155° 39' E. This afternoon the north-east trade set in; strong breeze. 17th, the sun vertical. 18th, ran 205 miles the last twenty-four hours: Guaham (the Ladrone Islands) distant 395 miles. 20th, saw the island of Guahan or Guam: at noon latitude observed 13° N., longitude 145° 13'E. In the charts this island is placed thirty miles west of its true position. Norie gives the longitude 144° 56', which is about correct. Guam is the largest of the Ladrone islands, which name was given them when Sir Francis Drake touched therein 1579, on account of the thievish practices of the natives. Philip 2nd., king of Spain, took possession of them in 1565, and in the reign of Philip 4th, they were called the Marianne Isles, in honor of his Queen Marie Anne of Austria.
These islands were once populous, but Guam is the only one now inhabited. An epidemical sickness having carried off a great number of the natives in several of the isles, the Spaniards very cruelly removed the survivors to Guam to supply the numbers that had died there. Al the time of Commodore Byron's voyage, the ruins of their habitations were visible on Tinian, though overrun with trees and bushes. Guam has a very pleasing appearance, and the islands of Tinian and Taypan are described as very beautiful, and abounding in limes, lemons, cocoanuts, and bread fruit; also with wild cattle and hogs. The breakers extend out a long distance from the point, and break very high.
22nd.—Passed over the spot where Ansons Islands are laid on the charts: the horizon very clear, nothing in sight. These islands cannot be in existence. This establishes in one point, the remark of one of our first navigators, "If an island, or any shoal rock, or reef, be laid down as doubtful, steer for it direct; by doing so, if the position is correct, you establish the fact, if not you evade it;" and experience has shewn that, in ninety-nine cases out a hundred the latter is generally the fact. Cape Espiritu Santo, distant 775 miles on the island Samar, (one of the Phillippines.)
25th—Sun again vertical at noon. 26th.—Dead reckoning latitude 12° 50' north, longitude 129° 7' east.
21th—Saw Cape Espiritu Santa; altered course, steering for Embocadero, or Straits of St. Bernardino.
28th.—All night running for the land near the Strait, but was much deceived by the charts, there being a discrepancy of about twenty-five miles with my observations and chronometer. At noon St. Bernardines Island west, distant four miles; and the Baliquartro Islands, S.W.b.S.
Noon; latitude observed 12° 47' north, longitude 124° 40' east, having a fine leading breeze I determined on entering the Embocadero, hoping to clear the south end of Luzonia, and get a good sight of Ticao before dark. The coast of Samar is bold of approach, as well as Luzonia; but the latter as you near St. Bernardines Isle is much higher. The centre of three high hills is peaked, and very high. There is a •mall islet detached, and to the northward of St. Bernardine. We passed the eastern side of the island, and found the passage very open and safe; stood on for the south-east point of Luzon: off this point are several small isles, which appear to be connected with reefs, the end of the southernmost one is bold, bluff, and woody: we passed at half-amile distant. After you are to the southward of it, you will see to the westward a very remarkable low flat rock, quite white, and but very little elevated above the waters1 edge, (it appears black if the sun is shining on it,) and another pyramidal rock of a singular shape, close to the point. The islands to the south-east, Dalupere Cabul, &c do not appear to be laid down correctly. I imagine there are one or two